UPDATE: 20 March 2019 - Women’s Electoral Lobby was notified recently by the Australian Government of our exclusion from the Federal Budget lockup.

In response to representations from NFAW, Women’s Electoral Lobby (WEL) and a number of the National Women’s Alliances, MPs and Senators from opposition parties and community leaders, the Office of Women (OfW) made representations to Treasury and today has successfully obtained one more chair in the lockup for Women’s Electoral Lobby. That makes two chairs at the table for national women’s groups.

WEL’s Emma Davidson will join the Equality Rights Alliance (ERA) representative Professor Helen Hodgson of NFAW in the Treasury Lockup on Tuesday 2 April, and will work collaboratively in the lockup with other groups known to have entry.

WEL National Convenor, Jozefa Sobski AM, commented on today’s new development, “This has been a ridiculous and farcical situation for all concerned. The exclusion should have never occurred in the first place.  

“We thank the Office for Women for its intervention and look forward to working with Treasury and all government portfolios to ensure women are not excluded from the budget lock-up in the future.

WEL will work closely with NFAW to develop the 2019 Gender Lens report in a swift and timely manner.

“We would also welcome the inclusion of organisations representing the interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, those with disabilities, multicultural communities, LGBTIQ+ groups, and other organisations representing the diversity of Australian women. We hope that we will see women from those organisations in the lockup.

Separate to WEL’s contributions to the NFAW Gender Lens report, WEL’s priority areas for the budget will focus on whether the Government has been able to address the following areas of inequality and structural disadvantage for women in Australia, including:

  • Eliminating violence against women adequate funding for women’s refuges.
  • Welfare support for new migrants
  • Sexual and reproductive health and rights
  • Housing
  • Financial insecurity - employment and income equality for women
  • Child care

“We have advocated for change in these areas over the years. Not much will change until we have a government which is willing to take comprehensive and continuing action with adequate resources dedicated to achieving solutions,” said Ms Sobski.